06 June 2018
Today, I just finished burying a young African cobra found dead in the flower bed. Our gardener, Linda, found it and was terrified. This is the fourth venomous snake we have seen in our neighborhood. The first was a carpet viper on the trail above our home, the second was a green mamba across from the Odoben chapel, the third was a puff adder at the GMAD school and today a young cobra, which gives us cause to be cautious when out and about.
Fortunately, the folks in our community are so kind and gentle we have no problems with our neighbors. It is such a delight to live in Ghana.
This week was the multi-zone conference in Kasoa. Each conference is filled with instruction and the spirit of revelation. Our missionaries instruct as well as our mission president. We were also shown a video of Pres. Nelson’s conference talk on “receiving revelation”. In addition, we also saw Elder LeGrand Curtis’ talk on the Book of Mormon and the church established in West Africa.
Also, we just returned from a three day stay with the Hills in Oda. We left our home due to the fumigation efforts of our apartment managers using Dursban organophosphate insecticide. The agent is too powerful for us to stay until it is diminished.
Oda is higher elevation and slightly cooler. We visited the community of Kokobeng, where there is a group started attached to Ansini branch. We attended the baptism of two new members from that area on Saturday. We visited the bakery, market and the beautiful Oda ward chapel. On our way home we stopped to see the West Africa Giant Tree.
Dawn is struggling with sleep issues. I am very concerned since she cannot get good sleep and is very anxious during the day. Her problem comes from using other sleep agents that begin to show serious side effects and then withdrawals follow. She also suffers from the heat and humidity common in Ghana. I seem to do better.
There is much more to be said about the growth of the church here in our part of the mission and the business of caring for the missionary needs. This is regular service for us and it has become routine.
There is another part of our living here that I can mention that takes up much of our time and resources. The children and some adults that are in need, tend to congregate at the Russell’s home. We feed them, work them, care for their school needs and often clothes that need repair or replaced. Care for the poor and needy is truly a part of this mission that needs to be managed well.
Moving right along in mission progress, next week is inspection week and then six week transfers once again. Progress has been made on the mission cook book. Sister Russell has refined it for printing after including all the recipes received from our missionaries. There are some eighty pages of fine entries. Now we have to print it and assemble it before delivery. Pres. Simpson has encouraged us to follow his directions in putting it together.
We visited Sena Breku with four of our full time missionaries. The community is about 40 minutes toward the ocean near Winneba. We have taught two lessons to a family and talked with several others in the community. We are hoping to start a group meeting soon. In Senya there is an old Dutch fort, Fort Good Hope. The facility was used to collect slaves and considered one of the nicest holding on the African coast. So sad to think what happened in the slave trade here in Africa.
The construction of the second home on the property is still underway. It will not be too long and the second story with be constructed. We hope it will be complete before we leave.
I returned from a long trip with Solomon, social worker, to Krobo to visit with Martha. She is doing well and we continue to support her care and medicine needs. The success lies in the fact the family are pleased to have her back and functional and Martha is as happy as can be expected.
Between our recent multi-zone conference and district meetings we get to be among the greatest missionaries in the church.
The beginning of another week here in Awutu Breku serving in the Accra Ghana Africa West mission and we are busy supporting the mission. This last week we visited all the apartments in our assigned three zones. There were 18 in all. We are still unsure of the locations of the apartments in the Kanishie zone. It is so difficult to find Gbawe ( Weija) and New Gbawe because the streets are not marked and are not streets but auto paths. Our GPS will indicate a road and there is no road.
This week is transfers and we assist missionaries in coming and going in our assigned area. Besides picking up elders and sisters we pick up spoiled bicycles and take them to Accra.
Brother and Sister Wood are here from New Zealand and will be staying with us for two weeks. They are arranging to move Eric (a crippled young man). They were missionaries in Kumasi for nearly two years. A lesson to be learned, whenever you assist anyone here it never ends as to the amount of help they need. We are assisting three young people with their education expenses. It will not end until we leave Africa.
Home! All is well with Julia and Ben to date. We want so much to have their health sustained while we are away. We put their names on the temple rolls this month. On the other hand, Joshua has caused us considerable grief. He is accusing us as abandoning our responsibilities as parents and grandparents to him and his children. It stems from his misfit ideas on the importance of families above all else in life and in church doctrine. He is disgruntled with the bishop of his ward and has withdrawn his support and trust. He has established strict belief in what members should do to preserve their families and excluded or altered doctrine to support his new beliefs. As a result of our serving a mission and not being there for his family, we have been labeled neglectful. Robyn had similar feelings but seems to accept us more for our service here and not so much as being neglectful. All the other children seem to be OK with us being here.
The end of June marks the half way mark in our mission. We have been here 9 months and 9 more to go. I am concerned because it is going by way to fast